Millions of Americans rely on Social Security right now for their financial security, and millions more will need Social Security benefits in the years to come. But new changes to Social Security have just taken effect, and it's smart to know how Social Security changes for 2014 could affect you and your benefits.

In the following video, Dan Caplinger, The Motley Fool's director of investment planning, goes through the recent Social Security changes for 2014. Dan notes that while the tax rate of 6.2% on employees hasn't changed, the wage base on which that tax is calculated has risen to $117,000. He also goes through the rise in earnings to $1,200 that's necessary to get a quarter of creditable coverage for Social Security purposes. Those younger than full retirement age who still earn wage or salary income will get a break, as the amount of income they can earn without forfeiting their benefits has risen to $15,480 this year. Finally, Dan goes through the average and maximum benefit amounts, noting that the maximum Social Security benefit this year for someone taking benefits at full retirement age has jumped to $2,642 per month, while the average benefit has risen to $1,294.

Get the most you can from Social Security
Social Security plays a key role in your financial security, so knowing everything you can about your benefits is crucial. In our brand-new free report, "Make Social Security Work Harder for You," our retirement experts give their insight on making the key decisions that will help ensure a more comfortable retirement for you and your family. Click here to get your copy today.

Neither Fool contributor Dan Caplinger nor the Motley Fool has any position in any stocks mentioned. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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